Tesla Cybertruck Debuts With Much less Vary, Towing Capability, and a Increased Value Than Promised
After four long years, the Tesla Cybertruck is finally here.
On Thursday, the EV maker delivered the first “production” examples of its battery-powered pick-up truck to a group of delirious customers during a live-streamed event in Austin. While most of us will still have to wait months, if not much longer, to get our hands on the vehicle, we finally know what to expect from the Cybertruck.
Going into Thursday’s much-hyped delivery event, precious little was known about the EV that CEO Elon Musk has called “the coolest car [he’s] ever seen.” The executive made some pretty big promises when he unveiled the model all the way back in November 2019, and as production delays began to pile up, it was easy to wonder just how many would be kept. Even after the company began road testing “production candidates” of the vehicle earlier this summer, the only things we felt certain of were that it would retain the original prototype’s ridiculous geometric shape and that its body would be made of stainless steel.
There will eventually be three Cybertruck models for drivers to choose from. The entry-level rear-wheel-drive model, which won’t be available until at least 2025, has single-motor powertrain. It’s followed by an all-wheel-drive version with a dual-motor powertrain. At the top of the lineup is the “Cyberbeast,” which features all-wheel drive and a tri-motor-powertrain. Tesla only provides specs for the latter two models, saying that the all-wheel-drive Cybertruck’s powertrain will produce 600 hp and 7,435 ft lbs of torque, while the Cyberbeast’s setup will pump out 845 horses and 10,296 ft lbs of twist. No specs were announced for the base model.
Thanks to all that oomph, the all-wheel-drive variant can launch from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 112 mph, while the Cyberbeast can do the same in 2.6 seconds and tops out at 130 mph. The Tesla website says the base model can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds but makes no mention of a top speed.
Tesla confirmed the news that leaked earlier this week that the rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck and Cyberbeast will each be able to tow up to 11,000 pounds. That number is impressive, and compares quite nicely to the other electric trucks currently on the market, but is 3,000 lower than the one mentioned by Musk at the vehicle’s unveiling. Payload capacity also comes in at a claimed 2,500 pounds, which is 1,000 pounds less than expected.
Just as important as power and towing numbers is the Cybertruck’s range. Back in 2019, Musk said the pickup would launch with a 500-mile range. That, it turns out, will not be the case. The rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck has an estimated range of 250 miles, the all-wheel-drive model 340 miles, and the Cyberbeast 320 miles. The Tesla website makes clear that these numbers are just estimates, something you imagine they’ll want to be careful about after Reuters published a story this summer accusing the company of having inflated the range of its vehicles in the past. An add-on “range extender” battery pack—that looks like it will take up a third of the truck bed—will supposedly boost range to 470 miles.
While it’s good to know what the Cybertruck will be capable of, the number that people were most curious about coming into Thursday was how much the vehicle would cost. The Tesla website lists a $60,990 starting price for the rear-wheel-drive model, $79,990 for the all-wheel-drive model, and $99,990 for the Cyberbeast.
These costs aren’t outlandish by any means, especially compared to the competition, but they are between $20,000 (for the rear-wheel-drive model) and $30,000 (for the other two Cybertrucks) more than what Musk mentioned in 2019. So even if the Cybertruck does prove to be the paradigm shifter the executive has breathlessly predicted—which is still a massive question at this point—it won’t be nearly as accessible as it looked originally. It’s also important to remember that these are just starting prices. Add-ons, like the Basecamp tent, range extender battery, and tailgate ramp, could push the cost even higher, too.
The Cybertruck may not be exactly what Musk said it would be, but it is finally here. Don’t expect it start seeing it around town just yet, though. The CEO has made clear it won’t go into volume (or mass) production until next year, and that would appear to remain the case.
Source: Robb Report